ShKAS: Legendary Soviet rapid-fire machine gun

ShKAS: Legendary Soviet rapid-fire machine gun

Legendary Soviet aviation the ShKAS machine gun, which made a huge contribution to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, was developed in 1930 by designers B.G. Shpitalny and I.A. Komaritsky. Strictly speaking, hence the name of this machine gun: Shpitalny - Komaritsky aviation rapid-fire.

It was produced, at that time, unique weapon from 1932 to 1945 until the production of aircraft machine guns under the 7,62-mm rifle cartridge, which was ShKAS, ceased.

Often this machine gun is called the weapon of Victory. After all, it was installed on all Soviet aircraft produced from the mid-30s to the early 40s. Meanwhile, ShKAS played its role not only in the Great Patriotic War, but also in other conflicts where the Red Army took part.

There is also information about the use of this machine gun in the Chinese and Korean civil wars.

So what was the uniqueness of this weapon?

It’s worth starting with the fact that ShKAS, in principle, became the first full-fledged aviation machine gun in the USSR. Before that, PV-1, DA and DA-2 were installed on the aircraft, in fact, converted ground-based PDs and Maxims. The new armament was not only lighter and shorter than its predecessors, but also significantly outperformed them in rate of fire.

By the way, about the last one. ShKAS rate of fire was 1800 vys. per minute for turret and wing, as well as 1650 for synchronous. Only the 7,92 mm German MG.81 of 1938 with a rate of fire of 1600 rounds per minute could approach this indicator in those days.

In general, in addition to the above-mentioned advantages, ShKAS was distinguished by extremely high reliability, for which it earned the title of the best aviation machine gun in the Red Army.

However, in the 1940s there was a strange case with frequent misfires. However, after a thorough examination, it turned out that cartridges covered with black domestic varnish at the place where the primer was attached give a failure. At the same time, cartridges that used foreign red varnish did not misfire. The reason was a flaw in the Soviet chemists, since the varnish they developed damaged the foil at the place where the primer was attached.

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  1. +5
    April 4 2023 17: 35
    The article is about nothing. Some phrases from editorials. Neither the history of creation, nor design features, nor mention of his younger brother ultraShKAS, nor of his creators, i.e. about nothing.
    1. +4
      April 4 2023 17: 41
      Such articles exist.
      Sometimes you can learn more from the comments than from the article itself.
  2. +2
    April 4 2023 17: 38
    There was a bike that Hitler kept in a closet in his ShKAS office, and on occasion poked them in the nose of his designers
    1. -1
      April 4 2023 17: 49
      Quote: novel xnumx
      kept in a closet in his office ShKAS, and on occasion poked them in the nose of his designers

    2. 0
      April 4 2023 23: 31
      There was such a story, my grandfather referred to it, who fought the entire Patriotic War with a military pilot from the first minutes and the victorious salute (and not only the Patriotic War). But he himself, like many others, did not believe in it. "In addition" to it, they claimed that Hitler, speaking laudatory of ShKAS, summarized: "If we could arm our aviation with such weapons, then we would have left the military sky back in 39th." Due to the lack of documentary evidence, it was rumored that Shpitalny's colleagues, if not himself, were the author of these "gishtoria", which appeared in the mid-60s.
  3. 0
    April 4 2023 17: 42
    Today there was an excellent article about destroyers - "7". In order to maintain the average "gray" level of today's VO, such "opuses" are definitely needed.
    “Better less is better”
    (V.I. Lenin)
  4. -1
    April 4 2023 17: 55
    An article could have been interesting ... But it’s not there, and you can watch the videos yourself
  5. +1
    April 4 2023 18: 41
    In fact, the harm from it was, as it were, no more than good. The rifle-caliber machine gun was good against planes made of sticks and rags, but not so much against aluminum structures. Any large-caliber machine gun, and at least the same "Berezin", in its place would have inflicted much more damage to the enemy, and, accordingly, brought more benefits to the Red Army Air Force. But the authorities did not want to risk replacing the recognized ShKAS with something new and unknown. However, the Germans were no better in this sense, and tried to compensate for the weakness of the rifle caliber by pairing MG 81Z machine guns. The British were crushed by the Americans, and later Spitfires were replaced by weak rifle-caliber Browning machine guns with large-caliber Brownings, usually in combination with 20mm cannons. And in America, by the beginning of the war, all aircraft were armed with heavy machine guns, often only with them and nothing else, and in most cases this was more than enough.
    1. +3
      April 4 2023 19: 38
      Quote: Nagan
      In fact, the harm from it was, as it were, no more than good. The rifle caliber machine gun was good against planes made of sticks and rags,

      Every vegetable has its time. For the beginning of the 30s, it’s quite on the level. Then, of course, it got old.
    2. +3
      April 4 2023 19: 52
      - Firstly, ShKAS was created in the years when a rifle-caliber machine gun was the main armament of aircraft.
      - Secondly, as an assault weapon, the 7,62 machine gun is not so bad, because it is still in service (not ShKAS itself, its heirs).
      - Thirdly, no one argues that even as a defensive weapon, 12,7 is more preferable, and even better 23 mm. But here's the thing, not every plane could stick a turret with large-caliber weapons. And if you consider that the task of the shooters is to prevent the attack of their aircraft, then the 7,62 caliber but with a high rate of fire is not such a bad compromise.
    3. +1
      April 4 2023 21: 24
      Massive growth in the caliber of aviation weapons (not counting prototypes) began in the second half of the 30s, after the appearance of all-metal structures for combat aircraft. The Spanish experience accelerated it. At the time of its creation, ShKAS was almost a miracle weapon.
    4. +1
      April 5 2023 00: 06
      It's not about the bosses, but about the established production and the forced change of technology, which is often very undesirable (especially in wartime) for industry. At the same time, during the Second World War, almost constantly carried out the design, improvement and testing of new types of weapons, comprehensively evaluated and considered not only from the point of view of combat qualities, but also from the standpoint of establishing mass production. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that ShKASs were used by Soviet aviation to destroy the enemy on the ground, and tens of thousands of dead Nazis became evidence of the successful use of this "machine gun".
  6. 0
    April 7 2023 15: 56
    Pokryshkin wrote in his memoirs about his reviews for the Soviet fighter industry: "A fighter needs weapons to beat the enemy, and not to hop on him in the air of shkasiks!".
    The machine gun is good, but for lethality you need a volley of ten.
    That’s why the heroic air rams, shkasiki, usually two or four, were exhausted, the cartridges ran out, and the Dornier flew as it flew ... Well, here it’s already chop with a propeller, or spank with a wing!
  7. 0
    April 27 2023 22: 26
    I wonder why maxims were used in our anti-aircraft installations, and not shkas? There would be more sense from them to cover mechanized columns.
  8. 0
    29 May 2023 13: 38
    Someone understood something? What is the uniqueness?

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